The Ravens will make their home preseason debut tonight at M&T Bank Stadium where thousands of fans will experience for the first time the enhancements made to the building intended to “enhance the fan experience.”
While they are observing and evaluating the new creature comforts they might also want to focus in on the performances of these players:
1. Pernell McPhee had a very productive rookie campaign in 2011 but his play slipped a bit in 2012 due in part to knee problems that derailed his offseason conditioning program. McPhee is in much better shape this season and is now being asked to play OLB. It’s a somewhat curious move because McPhee is a very good three-technique DT particularly in the nickel and dime situations. It’s a small body of work to project future success but the former Bulldog from Mississippi State didn’t seem quite as comfortable at OLB.
2. Billy Bajema is considered to be the Ravens best blocking tight end but that doesn’t necessarily make him a good blocking tight end – just the best of a substandard bunch when it comes to road grading. Is it enough to save his job? Even money says, “No” but it’s certainly something to pay close attention to. You can bet FilmStudy will!
3. Receivers LaQuan Williams and Marlon Brown played well during the preseason opener in Tampa and they’ve both had a productive camp. Hopefully we’ll see one or both get some PT with the 1’s tonight because clearly players like Tandon Doss and Deonte Thompson haven’t done anything to lock down their apparently higher positions on the depth chart.
4. Defensive backs Moe Lee (CB) and Brynden Trawick (SS) are both players possessing athleticism that is hard to ignore. Each needs to refine their skills and develop consistency. Lee has good size and competes aggressively in his one-on-one battles with a nice burst to the ball. Trawick also has size, could be a thumper in the box and is a worthy developmental player if he continues to contribute in a big way on special teams as he did last week in Tampa.
5. Jacoby Jones is a fan-favorite and does provide big play ability. But as a receiver he has been inconsistent and his route running is limited. He needs to begin to assert himself because if not his $3 million salary could be allocated elsewhere.
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